Akita Inu Myths

  •  There is a ton of misinformation regarding Akita Inu in the western world. I am not going to tackle all of them but I feel that this is a good topic for the new board.


    Myth Number 1: There is one Akita breed.

    False: There are two seperate and distinct breed of Akita's. The one that most think of when they think of Akita is the American Akita. These are dgs developed by the Japanese during the Meiji era (1860-early 1900's) They where developed for the then sport of dogfighting. The Japanese crossed native Akita's with western breeds such as the German Shepard and Saint Bernard. Overall, the American Akita is a much larger breed with clear molosser influence.

     The Japanese Akita Inu is a restoration of the pre Meji era dogs of Akita prefecture. They are much smaller, more refined and display only spitz influence.

    Differances in temperment exsist also. The American Akita is much more aloof and protective of family. The Japanese Akita is much more of a gragarious dog with people, far less aloof. They both are same sex agressive and Japanese Akita display a very high prey drive.


    That's seems like a good start. I can't wait to hear from you guys.



  • What would you say the size ranges are for each breed? [weight and height]

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • Brad,

    Japanese Akita Inu:

    Female: 21 to 25" inches at shoulder. 40 to 55lbs

    Male: 22 to 27" inches at shoulder. 50 to 80lbs.

     The father of your dog Hilo is quite large at around 95lbs. He is the exception, not the rule. IMHO, when dogs get really big the type gets thrown out of whack. Ryuu is a very nice dog, but he is a little less typey in large part because of his size.


    American Akita

    Female: 22 to 25" inches at shoulder. 55 to 80lbs.

    Male: 24 to 28" inches at shoulder. 75 to 100lbs +




    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • Based on Hilo's growth plates and bone structure it looks like he will probably be pretty large.

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • It is common for AKC Akitas to have a black mask except with white dogs.

    I've got a small female American Akita, and I had an American male (pics under Petapalooza on the Shikoku forum).

    Tasha is a defect for an American Akita. She's smaller, although still larger that most Japanese females. She's not aloof in the least. She thinks she's a Golden Retriever when it comes to people, LOL! She also isn't a resource guarder or protective at all. Vicious as a cotton ball. Not an ounce of guard dog.

    Jack was highly intelligent, aloof to strangers, protective if he felt he needed to be. Of all the dogs I've ever known, Jack had the most common sense and was an excellent judge of character. The only non-Akita thing about him was that he wasn't dog aggressive at all. Not even with other males. That's not to say that Jack made it perfectly and quietly clear he was King and he wouldn't take crap off anyone - dog or human. He had a lot of self-respect.

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • MIchelle, you are correct that a black mask is an exclusive trait o the American Akita. It does not and cannot appear in the Japanese Akita Inu. There is no gene for a black mask in the Japanese dogs. American Akita can be self masked however , it just isn't popular. I have seen white faced red, self masked fawn, solid black and self masked solid reds and brindles in American Akita. In fact I prefer the self masked dogs.

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • I totally agree that they are two different breeds. I mean, they have different breed standards! I also don't see much point in blends because then you simply have a dog that fits neither.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • You've forgotten about health and diversity? I don't show but in structure and in health the 2 Akitas need each other. The Japanese Akita is shown in Japan, in stance, in US, in a gait. But it's been a debate for years and I won't continue here.

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • Kuista,

     I hate to tell you but you are incorrect. Akita in Japan are shown in the down and back. In AKIHO, the free stand so only the tail may be touched while standing but they do have the dogs do both a down and back to check movement. The same with tha JKC that shows in the AKC style. Same for AKIKYO and NIPPO as well.

     The diversity argument is flawed. American Akita suffer from the same genetic problems as JA (VKH, PRA, SA) plus a higher occurance of bloat and HD. How does that produce a healthier dog? In fact, the most famous Tweenie in history Northlands Shere Khan of SDM is known to have VKH and SA in his some of his Tweenie offspring. Also, Tweenies have a far higher occurance of dental issues due to the fact that the AA and JA have totally different head and jaw structure.

     The JA no more needs tha AA than a Malamute needs a Siberian.

     That being said all over the world we have two Akita breeds. Why should we as American's and Canadiens be a five steps behind the rest of the world?




    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • I think that people often sing the praises of "diversity" because they believe diversity=fewer health problems.  This is the rationale behind many of the back-yard-breeders who are breeding maltese/shih tzu/pomeranian crosses.  They say they're better than purebreds because they have "hybrid vigor", but in the end, a mutt's a mutt.  Hybrid vigor or not, the genetics behind passing down a disorder aren't any different between breeds.  In my opinion, it's more important to just be discerning in your breeding practises.  I believe that carefully selecting the parents has more luck solving health problems than random outcrossings and that goes for any breed.   Diversity also means inconsistency with type.  I just don't see the point.   

    Post edited by Unknown User at 2007-06-30 10:58:55

  • Ah. This is why so many breed organizations fail. We could hotly debate AA vs JA forever, but that'd be like debating a '63 Vette vs. the Z06. Both have their place. Both took the best of former models. It's purely matter of individual preference.

    I strongly suspect I have a JA AA cross. To tell you the truth, the world could certainly use more like her. In my opinion, she's better than either. Excellent structure, the BEST temperment, she's stayed rather healthy over the years, too. She's also a blessing to train. I've rescued loads of Akitas, and I'll say that Tasha outshines them all. Vets and trainers fawn over her. But then, I then I could tell you how wonderful my AA was. He was my heart-dog. Sill, I don't consider Tasha a mutt. She's an Akita. I could care less which, or if she's both. Again, it's pure choice.

    Basically, as long as the breeding pair are very healthy and there are no known genetic flaws to pass down, I don't see the harm in JA bred with AA.

    Post edited by Unknown User at 2007-06-30 13:13:18

  •   For someone that doesn't really care there wouldn't be any harm. If the viewpoint is a dog is a dog than why bother? To an enthusiast like myself, it totally matters. It is like telling a collector of timepieces that the Bangkok knockoff Rolex is the same as the real deal. More than that, it is an issue of respect. Japan says they are two breeds and that is that.

     I really don't think it is an AA vs.JA situation. That all comes down to personal preferance. They are both wonderful breeds.

     Now as far as health goes, sure we all want the healthiest pet. In a perfect world dogs would never die, but they all  do eventually. No amount of health testing is going to guarentee a healthy dog. I will give an example. Mihoshi comes from the one line in Japan known to have had zero cases of SA. Good thing right? Well one day Mihoshi's half sister developed it. A large amount of what happens is just luck of the draw.


     Hondru, I 110% agree.



    Post edited by Unknown User at 2007-06-30 13:50:45
  • I love mutts.

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  •   You can love mutts all you want, just don't force your mutts onto my breed.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • Hondru,

     The more I think about your post the more points that come up. Of course the OneAkita crossbreeders play the "diversity = health" card, what other card do they have left to play? They are ignoring the home country and the rest of the world in an attempt to create thier own sandbox. In the process they isolate themselves. That is all well and good but in the eyes of the international community, we are all thrown in the same barrell. I feel that it is doing nothing more than renforcing the "ugly American" stereotype. The sad thing is that new people with a lot of interest and no experiance may actually believe the OneAkta marketing hype.



    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • I think the real issue is just that they want the hybrids, so they breed them.  I don't so much have a problem with that, as long as they're responsible, I just think that the resulting dogs shouldn't be considered purebred.  I mean, lots of people like mules but nobody tries to sell them as horses, right?
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • That's a good point. The same logic could be applied to the 'designer' breeds... Would anyone consider an Akita blend to be a designer breed, I wonder??? I'm sure that's a bit insulting to the Akita 'blend' breeders tho.

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • I like to think American Akitas, Japanese Akitas, or blend are all still Akitas - just like there is a Pembroke Corgi and a Welsh Corgi, or Doberman or Warlock Doberman, etc. A hybrid, to me, is two ENTIRELY different dogs, like breeding a Lab with a Shepard, or a Pug with a Poodle. It's fine to say, "I have an American Akita," or "She's a Japanese Akita," or "I own two Blended Akitas," but they're all still Akitas. A designer breed is when you take two distincly different looking dogs and you end up with something entrirely differnt than the parents. I'd still argue that, for the most part, there are still more similarities with all three Akita types than there are differences. Not so with Puggles and Labradoodles.

    With the theory that only Japanese Akitas are true Akitas is like saying only a Hata Uwahara strain of Shikoku is the ONLY true Shikoku. Meaning, that if we took that theory of blends being mules or mutts would mean that most anyone who owns a Shikoku would be considered to own nothing more than a designer Nihonken since the Shikoku is from a blend of five different strains of Kochi-Ken.

    I'd be willing to bet that if we took photos of Jack (true American Akita), Tasha (probable blend), and Hilo, (true Japanese Akita), we'd see pretty much the same dog sans height and coloring. There may be tiny differences, as there are in ANY individual. Color doesn't count because in all three types of Akita a single litter can contain different color pups. Yes, the American Akita may have a mask (or may not - even in the same litter), but for all intents and purpose, most health issues, phyical and pschological traits are pretty much the same given that each are properly bred and raised. You can't say that masked Akitas are mutts any more than you could say a cream colored or white Shiba or Shikoku is a mutt or a lab with a liver nose is a donkey.

    Point is, I don't think there's a dog breed in existence today that isn't a 'blend within their own breed.' In evolutionary terms, the only 'mutts' or 'mules' are jackel-dog, coyote-dog, or ironically, wolf-dogs since they are technically different species like a mule is the sterile offsrpring between horse and donkey (two different equine species).

    Just my opinion.

    Oh, and you know how most people think that a Thorobred is a pure-bred? Wrong. By the standards mentioned here, they're mutts. They come from 3 different horse breeds.

    Post edited by Unknown User at 2007-07-12 11:45:45

  • Well, yes, they're "Akitas" but they aren't Japanese Akitas or American Akitas, they'e hybrids.  I think it's obvious by the fact that JAs and AAs have two different breed standards that they are different breeds.  To take one of your examples, a pembroke and cardigan corgi mixed together would not be elligible for registration.  

     But who even cares?  If you want your hybrids, have your hybrids. 

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • Then even the Japanese Akita is a 'hybrid.' Unless someone can genetically prove that the Japanese Akita is a PURE decendent of wolves and nothing but wolves, not even cross breeding within their own breed, then they are technically a hybrid. We all know that every breed of dog has been bred to look or act a certain way. That didn't happen unless you weeded out some, breed or cross bred with others within their same breed type. As pure as any pure-bred dog owner thinks their dogs are - they are ALL interbred with SOMETHING, within or outside their breed. THAT is the point I'm making. My Shilkoku, Ronan, is no less a Shikoku because he is a blend of 5 Shikokus than Tasha is an Akita because her 'possible' lineage is a JA/AA mating. Unless the theory is that first generation blends are 'hybrid designer-bred mutts.'

    Personally, no. I don't care that an AA is bred with a JA. It's not a JAmerikita-Inu. It's an Akita.  Yes it's a blend, but it is still an Akita. I think that the AKC WOULD accept and register the offspring between a registered JA and a registered AA as a registered AKC Akita. That's not to say that the pups would please every Akita fancier or win or lose shows because of it.

    Maybe I should email and ask the AKC and the UKC.  

    I still stand that every breed of domestic dog known today is or has, in some way or time, been cross bred or blended.  

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • Yes, every breed was, at some point, a hybrid, but somewhere along the line they
    closed the book and said, "Okay, we got what we were breeding
    for." Then they stop outcrossing. 

    is considered a breed is totally arbitrary.  To me, it's quite
    simple.  By literal and legal definition of the word, a "breed" of
    dog is what is outlined by an organization.  A "purebred" is a dog
    that is registered and has its pedigree to show its a purebred - that
    is the legal definition.  So, I suppose, in North America, a JA/AA
    blend is a purebred, but its not so anywhere else in the world.  I
    guess I just side myself with the majority, and most importantly, the
    country from which the breed originated.    As for shikokus,
    the different lines aren't considered different breeds by anybody and
    there aren't several different breed standards.  It's just not the
    same thing. 

    Either way, I
    really don't care to argue because like I said, people can have hybrids
    if they want.  I'll never want one, but that's my decision.

    Post edited by Unknown User at 2007-07-13 15:26:06

  • I don't care to argue either. Actually, I want ALL Akita lovers and to feel welcome here - not just those with a certain type. I was beginning to worry (and feel) like those with certain types felt those here thought less of them or their dogs. JA, AA, or blend, I'd like to see everyone owning any or all of the types to feel at home and welcome. I've noticed a few with AA types have stopped posting, and those with suspected tweenies (like me), were feeling fairly offended by those who thought our dogs are less Akita or mutts. 

    I might have agreed with you about no tweenies at one time, but if my girl is one, and you ever met her - I know she'd change your mind about her being a mutt or hybrid. I like the size of the JA better, but the look of the AA better, but I love them both and the tweenies, too.

    I think breeding ANY Akita, or any dog, is something not to be taken lightly. Smart, healthy matches first.  


    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

  • I agree with you Michelle - I created this forum to chat with ANYONE interested in Akitas... owners, enthusiasts, JA, AA, Blends, poodles, GSD, whatever... Whoever want to chat about Akita is welcome here.

    I noticed from the very opinionated views from the very beginning of this forum, and I am concerned that it has driven people away. I dunno what to do about it other than keep posting and hope that people will eventually follow me.

    There may just not be enough room for this forum in the Akita bureaucracy.  Frown

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • You're very right, Michelle.  Sometimes I let my opinions get the best of me and I begin to argue a little too much.  I think maybe I should try to be nicer.  I surely don't want to become a "problem" poster.
    Post edited by Unknown User at 2007-07-15 16:37:14

  • You  aren't. You have an opinion, and that's great. This great breed brings out the beast in all of us, LOL! I mean, they are such a great breed, and have such presence! It's hard not to get wrapped up in what you think should be the standard.

    I do wish you could meet my little Tasha Belle. I know she'd at least sway you - even just a little. She has a way with people.  Of course, I could be wrong about her being a tweenie. She could just be small AA or a large JA. There was even a time when I wondered if she was a Kishu/Akita mix, but after a lot of looking at pics of both - she's an Akita through and through. The tweenie seems to fit her best in both personality and build. 

    I say love 'em all. Have a preference? Cool. But love 'em all. They are one of the most amazing breeds I've ever known. I have to say, I'm really partial to them and probably could brag about them to anyone who doesn't own one. Or should I say, who's life hasn't been graced by knowing one?

    So, come on everyone. We're all friends here. We may growl every once in awhile, but we don't bite.  Come back all those that are stalking and not posting. We need you. We're really all on the same page here. We all love this magnificent and incredible breed. I mean REALLY love them (if you can't tell how passionate we all are).

    I mean, how can you not become passionate about an Akita?  

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00